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Twentyfirst Thing Notetaking.pdf (2.17 MB)

Twentyfirst Thing: Notetaking

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posted on 2024-03-07, 03:33 authored by STEVEN THURLOWSTEVEN THURLOW

Notetaking, or note making, refers to the process of noting something down to remember or use in the future. Turning a dense and complex reading or lengthy lecture into a manageable and memorable short text is no easy feat. This post, written by Academic Skills Advisor Steven Thurlow, looks at what might work best and what special challenges this area might present for researchers.

Notetaking Basics

First things first; there is no one ‘right’ way to take notes.

Although notes need to be an accurate record of the original source, they can also be quite personal, even idiosyncratic, and, contrary to the hype – “You must use [insert name of new of shiny new app] for your notes!” – there is not one method or app out there to capture everything you might want from your notes. It is generally a good idea to choose one or two consistent approaches to notetaking to avoid juggling multiple systems to record what you have read or listened to. If you are starting a new research project you may already have a good system in place, but now is the time to think about what does or doesn’t work with the way you take currently notes and re-evaluate your approach as appropriate. It is also reasonably common for a supervisor to suggest a particular approach or tool early on in your relationship.


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